American Songbook Fest: Marilyn Maye & More

American Songbook Fest: Marilyn Maye & More

Telluride American Songbook Festival brings “Super Singer” (per the late Johnny Carson), Marilyn Maye to town to perform and conduct a workshop. Concerts are Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 18, Sheridan Opera House. Tickets 25 for adults; $15  for young people under 18, now on sale here. Group prices get $5 discount per ticket for groups of 10 + if purchased in advance by August 10. (Contact

“It’s no small feat when a performer, without even trying, makes time stand still. But that’s what the 87-year-old vocal powerhouse Marilyn Maye did on Tuesday evening at 54 Below (NYC),” Stephen Holden, New York Times, 2015.

Winner with Rosemerry Trommer and guest of honor Bobbie Shaffer at Songbook Fest’s Name That Tune Costume Party in late June.

Guest of Honor Bobbie Shaffer, Rosemerry Trommer (dressed as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”)  & Vincent Martin (as Starry Starry Night’) at Songbook Fest’s Name That Tune Costume Party in late June, which raised $35,000 for the new nonprofit.

The Telluride American Songbook Festival aims to bring some of Broadway’s greatest talent to town who, along with  Telluride stars, will perform hits from Broadway to film and folk, as follows:

“An Evening with Marilyn Maye.” The 87-year-old singer Marilyn Maye holds the record for most appearances on the once-legendary “The Johnny Carson Tonight Show.” Wednesday, August 17, and  Thursday, July 18,  7 p.m., Sheridan Opera House. Tickets here.

Another legendary singer, Ella Fitzgerald, once described Marilyn Maye as “The greatest white female singer in the world.” Many people still think she is. In fact, most music critics consider Maye to be one of our “national treasures.” Ms. Maye is still performing to sold-out audiences around the world.

“Marilyn Maye has everything. She can belt, and she can sing ballads with the kind of warmth that makes your heart smile. She can still reach notes most singers one-third her age can’t even hit in their dreams. Marilyn Maye is a happening kind of broad, in the best sense of the word. She’s funny and imaginative, has the kind of warm rapport with an audience Judy Garland used to have. She’s the real deal…the surviving artist of the American popular singer,”  Rex Reed, New York Observer, 2015.

“Last Friday, I witnessed one of the greatest nightclub performances I’ve ever seen when singer Marilyn Maye took the stage at Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles,” Leonard Maltin, entertainment critic and historian, 2015.


Marilyn Maye

Marilyn Maye

“Marilyn Maye is the legendary 87-year-old singer who appeared on ‘The Johnny Carson Tonight Show’ more than any other guest – 76 times – because Johnny thought she was the world’s greatest singer,” said Estwanik. “Many people still do. Ms. Maye is still performing to sold-out audiences around the world. In July, she sang with the Pasadena Symphony for 3,000 people with Michael Feinstein conducting. I hope with all my heart that the residents of Telluride understand what a very special performer is coming to our little town. As Stephen Sondheim wrote for his Broadway and film musical ‘Into the Woods’: ‘Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.’ Marilyn is 87 years old after all.”

Accompanying Ms. Maye will be Mr. Tedd Firth who has worked with Liza Minnelli, Barbara Cook, Michael Feinstein, John Pizzarelli, Carol Sloane, Maureen McGovern, and Brian Stokes Mitchell among many others.

Marilyn Maye  with Michael Feinstein

Marilyn Maye with Michael Feinstein

“An Evening of Oscar-Winning Songs,” a Salute to the Telluride Film Festival, Monday, August 31,  8 p.m., Telluride Ski & Golf Club Members’ Ski Plaza Lounge. Tickets here.


The event features a cast of performers from Broadway performers.

“If you want to see how the American Songbook has changed throughout the decades, compare the list of Oscar-winning songs from its first 15 years: ‘The Way You Look Tonight,’ ‘Over the Rainbow,’ ‘White Christmas,’ with the list from the last 15 years – ‘It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp’ and ‘Lose Yourself’.  I think there could be cause for concern. That’s why we will be offering songwriting workshops by well-respected composers for both adults and students. And that is also why we still need the Telluride community’s financial support, “ said Estwanik.

The American Songbook Festival will also offer unique opportunities for continuing education:

A Master Singing class with Marilyn Maye, Wednesday, August 19, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Arroyo. (Lmited to 10 adults only and costs $150; other can audit for only $50. )

For a preview of Marilyn Maye’s show, watch this video:


For further information about ways to  support TASF and how to register and prepare for Marilyn Maye’s Master Singing Class, and other details, American Songbook Fest or email or call 970.728.7053.

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